“Enbridge’s success will always be rooted in treating people fairly and with respect.” – Karen Radford, Executive Vice President, People and Partners
It is widely recognized that for a company to stay in business and grow it needs more than regulatory permits or licenses from governments and other formal decision makers. It also requires less formal social approval and acceptance of local communities, stakeholders and Aboriginal and Native American groups. Earning that “social license” to operate and grow can require a company to exceed regulatory requirements in order to meet changing public expectations.
Public concern and focus on safety, operational and environmental incidents in the energy industry in North America has intensified dramatically in recent years. This focus has manifested itself in increased scrutiny by governments, regulators, landowners, the media, shareholders, local communities and the general public. In some instances it has also manifested itself in organized campaigns of opposition to specific projects or activities that can affect Enbridge’s reputation.
Enbridge is determined to meet heightened public expectations regarding transparency, accountability and performance. When public concerns are raised about our projects and operations, we endeavour to listen and respond in ways that address the issues involved, and to provide opportunities for a broad range of stakeholders to benefit from our activities.
Health and Safety
While Enbridge is striving to be a North American leader in pipeline and system facility integrity, process safety, and environmental responsibility, we’re also striving to be a leader in human health and safety.
Our goal is to establish a world-class safety culture within Enbridge—one that targets zero incidents and zero injuries, and where our safety priority is engrained in the minds of our employee and contractor workforce.
We’ve taken steps within and made structural changes to our company to ensure we’re fostering a culture that proactively identities and mitigates risks across the whole organization and is constantly focused on our top priorities—safety and operational reliability.
For example, to further reinforce Enbridge’s safety culture and improve health and safety performance throughout the organization, in January 2012 we implemented Lifesaving Rules and training for all Enbridge employees and contractors; and in April 2013 we enacted Health & Safety Principles to guide our safety actions, policies, procedures and culture and which define specific actions and behaviours that all Enbridge employees and contractors are obliged to follow.
Enbridge had no employee fatalities in 2012. However, we were deeply saddened by an incident in which a contractor’s employee died on February 28, 2012, on the Woodland Pipeline construction project in northern Alberta. The individual sustained a fatal injury when the side boom he was operating flipped over into a ditch while he was helping prepare for a tie-in weld. Since this incident, Enbridge has required all contractors working on our projects to install roll-over protective systems (ROPS) on their side booms. Additionally, all side booms are to undergo pre-mobilization inspections prior to being put into service at Enbridge worksites. Enbridge has also created industry-wide pipeline construction safety roundtable groups in both the U.S. and Canada. Both contractors and owners are represented in these industry groups, whose focus is on improving the safety culture in mainline construction.
At Enbridge, all safety incidents, whether regulatory recordable or not, are reported to local supervisors, as well as to our Health & Safety Department for tracking, trending and communications regarding potential lessons learned.
Aboriginal and Native American Relations
Aboriginal communities in Canada and Native American communities in the U.S. comprise some of Enbridge’s most important neighbours and partners.
Enbridge recognizes the history, uniqueness and diversity of Aboriginal and Native American peoples. We also recognize that positive relationships with them, based on mutual respect and trust, will help them and us realize our respective aspirations and will help Enbridge to reach our strategic business objectives.
The principles that guide our relations with Aboriginal and Native American people are set out in our Aboriginal & Native American Policy. The goal of the policy is to help achieve mutually beneficial relations with Aboriginal and Native American communities in proximity to, or in some significant way affected by, Enbridge’s operations. The policy and supporting guidelines are designed to ensure a consistent, thorough approach to consultation and engagement with Aboriginal and Native American people.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project’s Education and Training Fund is just one example of a program that aligns with our Aboriginal & Native American Policy. The fund, which was originally set at $1.5 million, has been supporting flexible, community-based training specific to the pipeline and construction sector since its establishment in 2011. Based on community interest and successful initiatives, in December 2012, the project increased the fund to $3 million. In 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 the project committed over $900,000 of the total $3 million toward skills development and community education initiatives.
Community and Landowner Relations
Enbridge knows that our neighbours during construction of a project will also be our neighbours for the many years that the project will be in operation, and we look for and welcome the opportunity to invest in long-term collaborative relationships with all the communities located near our operations and along our rights-of-way across North America.
Through our Public Awareness Programs, we have a scheduled communication process through which landowners, communities and other key stakeholders are kept informed about our operations and related initiatives and issues; and we seek comments from the affected public and address questions and concerns. These programs are focused on raising awareness of pipelines and operating facilities in communities, the importance of calling a local One-Call centre (in Canada) or 811 (in the U.S.) before any digging project, and how to recognize the warning signs of a potential pipeline emergency and what to do—or what not to do—in response.
We rolled out the Enbridge and Vector Pipeline Emergency Responder Education Program in the U.S. in December 2012 to nearly 8,000 emergency response agencies; and in Canada in April 2013 to approximately 800 emergency response agencies. The four-hour online training program includes the basics of natural gas and crude oil pipeline operations, how to safely handle products transported by pipelines, including those operated by Enbridge, pipeline emergency response tactics and pipeline emergency scenarios. Additionally, in 2013, Enbridge is rolling out an in-person outreach component of the program for fire departments in close proximity to our pipelines and facilities. We are also developing a training module targeting 911 dispatch centres that cover our operating areas.
We believe investing in our communities is an essential part of being a good neighbour and is a contributing factor in maintaining our social license to operate. For example, in 2012, our enterprise-wide community investment expenditure totaled $16.5 million, which we invested in more than 750 charitable, non-profit, and community organizations.
By investing with our dollars in six focus areas—Lifelong Learning; Community Leadership; Natural Legacy/Neutral Footprint; Arts & Culture; School Plus; and Safe Community—in 2012, Enbridge was able to support organizations that contribute to the economic and social development of communities across our operating regions in Canada and the U.S.
For example, the Enbridge School Plus Program, which we developed in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), supports enriched programming and extracurricular activities in First Nations schools near major Enbridge pipeline routes in Canada. The overall goal of the program is to encourage First Nations youth to stay in school by assisting schools in offering sports activities, music or arts programs, field trips and school clubs. Since 2009, the program has enriched the education of more than 10,000 youth in more than 90 schools by providing more than $3 million in grants in support of educational programming.
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